- CA5: Unconditional guilty plea waives 4A claims
- CA6: Police cannot summarily kill dogs in houses they search
- CA11: Work-related injuries don’t necessarily translate into OSHA violations; records request quashed as overbroad
- NYTimes: How an Unlikely Family History Website Transformed Cold Case Investigations
- WaPo: Opinion: Little Rock’s dangerous and illegal drug war
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"If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. It isn't, and they don't."
“I am still learning.”
—Domenico Giuntalodi (but misattributed to Michelangelo Buonarroti (common phrase throughout 1500's)).
"Love work; hate mastery over others; and avoid intimacy with the government."
—Shemaya, in the Thalmud
"A system of law that not only makes certain conduct criminal, but also lays down rules for the conduct of the authorities, often becomes complex in its application to individual cases, and will from time to time produce imperfect results, especially if one's attention is confined to the particular case at bar. Some criminals do go free because of the necessity of keeping government and its servants in their place. That is one of the costs of having and enforcing a Bill of Rights. This country is built on the assumption that the cost is worth paying, and that in the long run we are all both freer and safer if the Constitution is strictly enforced."
—Williams v. Nix, 700 F. 2d 1164, 1173 (8th Cir. 1983) (Richard Sheppard Arnold, J.), rev'd Nix v. Williams, 467 US. 431 (1984).
"The criminal goes free, if he must, but it is the law that sets him free. Nothing can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws, or worse, its disregard of the charter of its own existence."
—Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 659 (1961).
"Any costs the exclusionary rule are costs imposed directly by the Fourth Amendment."
—Yale Kamisar, 86 Mich.L.Rev. 1, 36 n. 151 (1987).
"There have been powerful hydraulic pressures throughout our history that bear heavily on the Court to water down constitutional guarantees and give the police the upper hand. That hydraulic pressure has probably never been greater than it is today."
— Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 39 (1968) (Douglas, J., dissenting).
"The great end, for which men entered into society, was to secure their property."
—Entick v. Carrington, 19 How.St.Tr. 1029, 1066, 95 Eng. Rep. 807 (C.P. 1765)
"It is a fair summary of history to say that the safeguards of liberty have frequently been forged in controversies involving not very nice people. And so, while we are concerned here with a shabby defrauder, we must deal with his case in the context of what are really the great themes expressed by the Fourth Amendment."
—United States v. Rabinowitz, 339 U.S. 56, 69 (1950) (Frankfurter, J., dissenting)
"The course of true law pertaining to searches and seizures, as enunciated here, has not–to put it mildly–run smooth."
—Chapman v. United States, 365 U.S. 610, 618 (1961) (Frankfurter, J., concurring).
"A search is a search, even if it happens to disclose nothing but the bottom of a turntable."
—Arizona v. Hicks, 480 U.S. 321, 325 (1987)
"For the Fourth Amendment protects people, not places. What a person knowingly exposes to the public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection. ... But what he seeks to preserve as private, even in an area accessible to the public, may be constitutionally protected."
—Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 351 (1967)
“Experience should teach us to be most on guard to protect liberty when the Government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”
—United States v. Olmstead, 277 U.S. 438, 479 (1925) (Brandeis, J., dissenting)
“Liberty—the freedom from unwarranted intrusion by government—is as easily lost through insistent nibbles by government officials who seek to do their jobs too well as by those whose purpose it is to oppress; the piranha can be as deadly as the shark.”
—United States v. $124,570, 873 F.2d 1240, 1246 (9th Cir. 1989)
"You can't always get what you want / But if you try sometimes / You just might find / You get what you need."
—Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
"In Germany, they first came for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Catholic. Then they came for me–and by that time there was nobody left to speak up."
—Martin Niemöller (1945) [he served seven years in a concentration camp]
“You know, most men would get discouraged by now. Fortunately for you, I am not most men!”"The point of the Fourth Amendment, which often is not grasped by zealous officers, is not that it denies law enforcement the support of the usual inferences which reasonable men draw from evidence. Its protection consists in requiring that those inferences be drawn by a neutral and detached magistrate instead of being judged by the officer engaged in the often competitive enterprise of ferreting out crime."
---Pepé Le Pew
—Johnson v. United States, 333 U.S. 10, 13-14 (1948)
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Category Archives: Private search
W.D.Mo.: Stopping def on the street because he vaguely matched the description of an assailant from three days earlier lacked RS
Defendant was approached on the street as he was walking past the police station because he was the same race as a man who was a suspect in an assault three days later. He gave his first name but kept … Continue reading
Defendant’s girlfriend accessed his cell phones: his Android wasn’t password protected but his iPhone was but she knew the password. This was a private search, and the Texas statutory exclusionary rule doesn’t apply. Thomas v. State, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS … Continue reading
TX4: Seizure and search of teacher’s cell phone by school administrator was private and not subject to TX statutory exclusionary rule
Defendant was a substitute teacher, and his cell phone was used to upskirt girls in the school. Some of the students figured it out and reported it to the school administration. One of the administrators confronted defendant and he admitted … Continue reading
Time and proximity are important in the reasonable suspicion calculus. The closer in time with proximity to the scene of a crime, the more likely the suspect is involved in the suspected or already occurred criminal activity. Here, however, two … Continue reading
A private school ejected plaintiff and he sued on several grounds. His Fourth Amendment claim (sounds problematic on its face) is rejected because the school is not a state actor despite receiving some federal funds. Nkwuo v. Angel, 2017 U.S. … Continue reading
CA3: State court loss of suppression motion as private search was collateral estoppel to § 1983 case
Plaintiff was a student in a private university, and the RA in his dorm smelled burning marijuana in the hallway and narrowed it to plaintiff’s room. The next day, university security searched his room, and he was charged in the … Continue reading
While LEOs have the authority to break and enter to arrest a fugitive when they have an arrest warrant, state law grants no such power to bondsman. Conviction for criminal damaging affirmed for kicking in two doors, and the fugitive … Continue reading
ND: Entry by bail bond bounty hunters with police at perimeter declining to help was a private search
Three bail bond bounty hunters arrived at defendant’s house to take defendant’s brother into custody. Getting no response at the door, they called police for backup. Officers arrived and confirmed that they had a warrant for defendant’s brother and agreed … Continue reading
S.D.Cal.: Google’s email search scanning for CP was a private search; DHS’s separate search was “not a significant expansion”
Google’s scanning of email for child pornography is a private search. The DHS review of defendant’s emails wasn’t a significant expansion of the private search. United States v. Wilson, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98432 (S.D. Cal. June 26, 2017):
Google scans all its email for child porn hash values, examines those that are suspect, and reports it to NCMEC. Neither Google nor NCMEC are government actors. United States v. Miller, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97383 (E.D. Ky. May 19, … Continue reading
An RA in a college dorm searched defendant’s room and found drugs. The police were called and they entered the room and seized the drugs. There is no dorm room exception to the Fourth Amendment. This is not the same … Continue reading